I kept reading hints of a different route up Il Cansiglio: an 1037 meter climb, with moderate grade, and no traffic. After some painstaking detective work, I was hopeful I'd found it. And finally today, a chance to try it out.
As I left home on the bike, my neighbor pointed at an angry black thunderhead towering above and asked if I thought it might rain. I laughed and said it probably would, confirming her suspicions that I'm matta. I rode down Via Pedemontana to Villa di Villa, near Cordignano, expecting to turn around any second when the inevitable cloudburst broke. But it actually looked a bit brighter there in Treviso province (Veneto). So I continued up the hill toward Castello di Cordignano (see http://dolomiti-friulane.blogspot.com/2010/04/sarone-rugolo.html ) and hung a right at Santa Felicita (165 meters).
The road isn't too steep, but it does include a 5 km section of uninterrupted 8-10% - it's a good workout. But the nicest thing is the woods it passes through, and the solitude: for 11 km there were no cars, no other bikes, not even a hiker. The woods are familiar in the mountains round here- shady beech trees, karst rock formations, moss and ferns, singing birds. In the higher stretches there were clouds in the treetops. The solitude ends at 983 meters where the road joins the strada provinciale from Caneva to Piancansiglio. I continued on up to La Crosetta at 1134 meters. Oddly, the cloud tops were right below this elevation, and all of Piancansiglio seemed bright and sunny.
After a little rest, I rapidly descended via the main road to Sarone. Then a 25 km, 300 meter climb home. Though overcast, it wasn't raining, until I completed the climb to our little town, and then the rain began.
Castello di Caneva from the climb
Sun was out at La Crosetta